In 2001, linguistics professor Robin Lakoff noticed that Hillary Clinton said "you know" 19 times in a speech about her brother Hugh's criminal activity, indicating that she was, Lakoff thought, feeling vulnerable. "Her possible senatorial replacement, Caroline Kennedy," writes Ben McGrath in this week's New Yorker, "would seem, by this standard, to be overqualified." In her New York Times interview, Kennedy said "you know" 138 times. In her Daily News interview and on NY1, she broke 200. It all reminds McGrath of an interview by Caroline's uncle Ted with Roger Mudd, in which Ted proved similarly inarticulate. "The Mudd parallel highlighted the strange tension in Kennedy's nascent candidacy. On the one hand, her lack of polish, or media training, suggests an Everywoman appeal—the mother of three with no Washington experience, like a Sarah Palin for Democrats—while at the same time undermining the Kennedy mystique and serving as a reminder of the Bush lesson that dynasties can devolve (and not just into mangled English)."
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